In Sheffield Methodist Circuit we are exploring a two year series of Holy Habits, this month and next we are focussed upon Breaking Bread it felt only right to offer this story as part of this season.
Every Wednesady at Yew Lane (in Parson Cross, Sheffield) a small group meet together to take part in various activities including; creative writing, music and art – we also make soup which we share together around the table at the end of the session.
Now one of our regular visitors is Phillip, he may be also know to other Churches in Sheffield as he loves to go from Church to Church enjoying the company and the food on offer. Phillip always arrives just in time for lunch, sometimes on his bike sometimes on foot – he may spend a few minutes drumming or chatting as he drinks his dark black coffee. He then lays the table, without any encouragement or invitation and settles down ready for the soup. But Phillip has also turned this simple meal into something of a celebration of common union (Communion), a Eurcharistic feast if you will ….
…. every week Phillip brings the bread to be shared at the table; sometimes the bread is “posh” with seeds and grains, sometimes it’s plain and white, and on other occasions it make be squashed and crushed beyond recognition at the bottom of his bag, but always Phillip brings it. Even on one week when he himself couldn’t come he turned up earlier that morning (or perhaps the night before) and left the bread at the door of the church ready for me to pick up when I arrived.
The bread he brings is itself brought from one of the other Church meals he attends, collecting the freely given bread offered through their particular ministry and bringing it to share with us openly and without question at our table – it is as if he carries the symbolic body of Christ – in his backpack.
As we reflect further on our Breading Bread theme, Phillips actions show us that our Eucharist feast, our act of Communion is indeed about sharing in the body of Christ – it is an offer of a “Common Union” for all humanity, offered openly and without preference or judgement, a place where none should be excluded, where God dines with saints and with sinners alike without distinction in the form of Jesus.